Jets claim comfortable victory over Northern NSW elite

The Jets defeated NBN Select XI 3-1 at a chilly Darling Street Oval in Hamilton.

The Newcastle Jets have this evening put on a fine display, defeating the NBN Select XI side 3-1 in a pre-season match at a chilly Darling Street Oval, Hamilton.

First half goals by Sasho Petrovski and Jeremy Brockie gave the Jets a comfortable advantage, while a second half free-kick by Marko Jesic ensured there would be no coming back for the NBN Select side. However, a late strike by former Jet Joel Wood gave Northern NSW-s finest some consolation.

The attacking mood was set early by Newcastle, with Brockie going close to opening his account for his new club in just the 6th minute, but a superb fingertip save onto the post by Chris Bowling kept the scores level.

It was the experienced Petrovski who would break the deadlock on 28 minutes, though, after being played clean through on goal by livewire Iraqi winger Ali Abbas. Petrovski made no mistake when one-on-one with the ‘keeper to give the Jets a deserved lead.

Ten minutes later and Abbas had an opportunity to put his own name on the scoresheet when he found himself with only Bowling to beat. However, a reflex save down low kept NBN Select in the contest.

Moments before the halftime whistle and Brockie would score his first goal in the gold of the Jets, as he latched on to a goalkeeping error to slam the ball in the back of the net. The windy conditions caused a dangerous Kasey Wehrman cross to fly awkwardly into the path of Bowling, who could only parry the ball at Brockie-s feet. The New Zealand international, fresh from his stint at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, lashed home to send the Jets into the break two goals to the good.

The second stanza would see a raft of changes as Head Coach Branko Culina looked to give his entire bench a run in what was his side-s second pre-season trial match ahead of the coming Hyundai A-League season.

However, it looked as though NBN Select might add the first goal of the half when the ball broke kindly to Jarryd Johnson in the 55th minute. His strike from just inside the area, though, was held well by substitute goalkeeper Paul Henderson.

Midway through the period and young gun Jesic claimed the Jets- third of the game when his stinging 25-yard free-kick deflected off the wall and nestled in the back of the net.

Then, with the result decided and only seconds of regular time remaining, former Jets striker Joel Wood made a lung busting run into the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball low past the onrushing Henderson.

The Jets will now take on Sydney United this Sunday, 18 July at Edensor Park in a match billed as the farewell for former Qantas Socceroo Zeljko Kalac. The pre-season fixture, which kicks off at 4pm (AEST), will also feature the likes of Mark Viduka, Craig Moore and Tony Popovic.

Match Details:
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk) (30. Paul Henderson (gk) 45-), 3. Adam D-Apuzzo, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley (2. Taylor Regan 45-), 5. Ljubo Milicevic (c), 6. Ben Kantarovski, 7. Kasey Wehrman (17. Marcello Fiorentini 45-), 8. Michael Bridges (18. Marko Jesic 45-), 13. Sasho Petrovski, 16. Jeremy Brockie (22. Kaz Patafta 45-), 19. Ali Abbas (14. Labinot Haliti 45-), 21. Brodie Mooy

Newcastle Jets: 3 (Petrovski 28-, Brockie 43-, Jesic 74-)
NBN Select XI: 1 (Wood 90-)